For the record:
1. In addition to deleting cookies, I started disabling unclaimed (no publisher) services, which included the following:
By name, they look like Microsoft administration aids but the "restart" afterward has produced no noticeable effects, and the "continuous outbound signal" has been absent for now about 20 hours.
I have not removed any related .exe files, so I may be able to investigate the set.
Somewhere on this system there's a folder or tabbed page listing programs and differentiating between ones shipped with the box and add-ons. The "Windows Messenger" program, which is not the one that says "Not Signed In" in my systems tray, appeared also as a programm added to the machine, and I took that as a hint.
This is tricky stuff.
A program like Black Ice "baselines" the unit to accept whatever is on it--or what the user approaves--when its installed, and as I'm not building the machine from scratch (clean install?), that's a problem.
Next: I want to look into passively retained encrypted or machine coded sensitive data, if any, that may persist on the local drive.
Edited by commart, 25 September 2007 - 07:06 AM.